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Blog Feature

By: admin on October 3rd, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 3, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice

Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education. 


Dentists Should Be Aware of Deviated Septum Impact on OSA
August 31, 2016

From the article:A deviated septum is rarely the sole cause of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But symptomatic nasal obstruction from a deviated septum, or any number of other causes, has clearly been shown to be an independent contributor and risk factor for snoring, OSA, poor sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness, according to Ryan Soose, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).”

Takeaway: This information is critical for sleep technologists to master, as well as for those working in dental sleep medicine. If your patient has "deviated septum" listed in their records as a confirmed diagnosis, you need to be cognizant of this fact when running an overnight study, reviewing the results of a HSAT, or titrating these patients. If your patient tells you they have a deviated septum, but it doesn't show up in their EMR, add this to your notes section. Sometimes a patient's entire medical history isn't completely tracked in their medical records.


Contour Products Launches Training Webinar for Sleep Medicine Professionals
September 29, 2016

From the article:Contour Products expands its webinar offerings with its first webinar specifically for respiratory therapists, sleep technicians, and other professionals involved in CPAP therapy. 'CPAPMax Strategies for Comfort & Compliance' is a 30-minute interactive training session that demonstrates the ways an advanced CPAP pillow can address the diverse needs of a variety of patients.

Takeaway: If you have patients who use this contour pillow but need assistance, or if you've never seen one or know how it works, you may wish to take this webinar to learn more.


Some cities are taking another look at LED lighting after AMA warning
September 25, 2016

From the article:In its warning, the AMA cited the melatonin issue, noting that studies have linked bright LEDs to reduced sleep time, poor sleep quality and impaired daytime functioning."

Takeaway: If you live in an area where municipalities have made the switch to save money by installing LEDs, you may wish to informally poll patients about their sleep concerns to determine whether they might be negatively impacted by this cost-cutting measure. It's a big conflict: can local government, in an effort, to improve their budget, impose changes which can have a long-standing and disruptive effect on the health and well being of their citizens? This stands to become an easy platform for educating the community about sleep and circadian rhythms, causes for insomnia, sleep hygiene tips, and the effects of sleep deprivation caused by exposure to light pollution.



Why Apple’s Push for Accuracy of Health Apps Is a Major Step in the Right Direction
September 22, 2016

From the article: “...Apple has updated their App Store Review Guidelines, and health apps are under much more pressure to produce apps that actually work. Now, apps that have potential to cause physical harm, provide inaccurate data or information that could misdiagnose users will be under far stricter scrutiny. For many so called health and fitness wearable manufacturers, this could be bad news—but for consumers everywhere, I strongly believe that Apple’s push for greater accuracy in health apps is a big move in the right direction. It’s just the first of a series of steps required to make health technology more accurate and add value to our lives in a greater way.

Takeaway: Accuracy has to be the benchmark for any of the sleep apps. Most consumers are not health literate enough to be able to separate good technology from bad or even to interpret the results they do get, nor can they recognize the difference between accurate and inaccurate results. They also do not generally understand how many of these apps work, so it's easy for them to buy into claims that these apps "measure brain waves" or can give you a detailed report of your "sleep efficiency" when the proper technology to do such things isn't actually built into the apps in order to adequately or accurately do either.  


Can I Smoke During My Sleep Study?
September 27, 2016

From the article:If you're a smoker and have scheduled or are considering scheduling a sleep study, you're probably worried about how you'll make it through the night. Our technical director, Jonathan Sherrill addresses your concerns in this post."

Takeaway: The answer to this question is sure to be controversial among sleep technologists. One camp will argue, "If this is what they normally do, then they should be allowed to do it," while the other camp will argue, "This is a medical test and smoking can interfere with the results." Whichever side you weigh in on, you need to ensure that your entire lab follows the same protocol. 



How Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Body, Because It's Almost Time To Change The Clocks Again
October 1, 2016

From the article:Here are five ways that DST affects your body.

Takeaway: Great review here for technologists who may not have a good handle on circadian rhythm disruption. Also, NOW is a great time to offer patients handouts regarding the time change (when it happens, what to do, what to expect, how to prepare for it). This is an easy way for sleep labs to promote healthy sleep and patient education and contribute to the prevention of sleep deprivation. 


1800 Truck Wreck Asks, Could Sleep Apnea Screenings Reduce Truck Crashes?
September 23, 2016

From the article: “In an industry where truck operators are pressured to make deliveries on time or suffer the consequences, it's important to take every step possible to keep over-tired drivers off the roads. ... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is moving slowly but surely toward requiring truck drivers to undergo mandatory sleep apnea screenings.”

Takeaway: This is good news for public safety and for sleep clinics, especially those who work directly with transportation companies to ensure their operators are safe behind the controls and not victim to drowsy driving (which could mean not only trucks, but planes, trains, and marine vessels). In light of last week's deadly Hoboken train crash, which is still being investigated for cause, sleep deprivation of the operator has not yet been ruled out.

BIO:  Tamara Kaye Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep news clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health headlines daily. She is also
Chief Content Officer for inboundMed and contributes as a freelance writer to
AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.